Louis Vuitton has been busy of late. An ambassador announcement, a recent AW24 Menswear showcase and now, an LV-launched chocolate shop on our shores. It seems odd that the brand known for their steamer trunks would dip their toes (or fingers) into chocolate. But having taste the results, it'd seem that the Maison has another winner on its hands.

The opening of Le Chocolat Maxime Frédéric at Louis Vuitton at Marina Bay Sands, marks the debut of the confectionary store beyond its French borders. Created and produced by Maxime Frédéric, the celebrated Chef Pâtissier of the Cheval Blanc Paris, the chocolates are made with premium ingredients in the heart of Paris.

The Chef

Hailing from Normandy, Chef Frédéric draws from the wisdom of les secrets de nos vergers (the secrets of the orchards). From his farm's chicken breeds to the special hazelnut variety he cultivates, each ingredient is chosen for its distinct flavour. When not sourced directly from his farm, he opts for top-tier supplies, like milk from his friends operating a dairy farm in Normandy. Chocolates are also sourced from small-scale cocoa farmers in Vietnam, Peru, Madagascar, Dominican Republic and São Tome.

Chef Frédéric met with the artisans behind the emblematic LV trunks at the historic home of Louis Vuitton in Asnières. Seeing how the brand upholds craftsmanship, Chef Frédéric said that he saw "a lot of similarities between his work in patisseries and the work of the LV artisans". "Whether it’s a woodworker or a locksmith for the trunks. It’s about handcrafted workmanship," Chef Frédéric says, "and that’s completely in line with our work as artisan pastry chefs, bakers and chocolatiers.” 

With prices starting at SGD30, these exquisite chocolates offer an unexpectedly accessible taste of luxury. Like the Damier-shaped Chocolate Tablets, Monogram Flower... even the Chocolate Bar, each piece is inspired by Louis Vuitton's iconic motifs. They bring across a sense of child-like wonderment and are as delightful as they are indulgent.

His centrepiece creations—Vivienne on Malle and the Petula—showcase his ingenuity and mastery in chocolate craftsmanship. Inspired by the Vivienne music box, the Vivienne on Malle (SGD420) is confection wonder. Made of intricate chocolate gear mechanisms thanks to Chef Frédéric's construction, a twist of the chocolate key, Vivienne pirouettes.

The Petula (SGD230), another iconic mascot from Louis Vuitton, also brings an enchanting surprise for clients. Designed like a piñata, each Petula chocolate figure is generously filled with coated hazelnuts. Whack one open and watch the contents spill out. 

Recognised for its expertise and the quality of its products, Rolex stays true to the notion of perpetual excellence instilled by its founder, Hans Wilsdorf. This led to a slew of watchmaking innovations. Such as the Perpetual 1908, a masterpiece that’s inspired by the iconic Oyster Perpetual from 1931.

With its legacy ever in the rear-view mirror, the 1908 is a testimony of historic codes with ground-breaking watchmaking innovations. “1908” is the given name of the model. It's an homage to the year Wilsdorf devised the name “Rolex” to sign his creations and registered the brand in Switzerland. It is also a promise of unparalleled performance. Imagine the Oyster Perpetual timepiece but in a slimmer, sleeker design that’s replete with the brand’s signature style.

Crafted in 18k yellow or white gold, the slim case aggrandises a transparent back; a window into its beating heart—the movement finishings within. The innovative calibre 7140 is what powers the watch. A brand-new self-winding movement that is meticulously developed and manufactured by the Swiss Manufacture’s engineers. With two centre hands and a small seconds display, the calibre 7140 is a pinnacle of innovation, backed by five patent applications.

The Perpetual 1908 caseback reveals the calibre 7140 movement.

Caged within the sleek watch case is the essence of Rolex’s engineering prowess: the innovation of the oscillator, the Chronergy escapement, the Syloxi hairspring and Paraflex shock absorbers, just to name a few. The 1908 offers a substantial power reserve. Approximately 66 hours of chronometric performance (–2/+2 seconds per day) to keep it ticking without worry of pause.

Distinct Arabic numerals 3, 9 and 12, along with a small seconds subdial at six o’clock beautifully reinterprets the 1931 Oyster Perpetual style. It paints the timepiece in a contemporary allure.

The 1908 is fitted on an alligator strap that comes in either matte brown or matte black. This elegant strap with a green calfskin lining and tone-on-tone stitching, is individually tailored for the new watch. It is equipped with a Dualclasp, a double folding clasp, in 18 ct yellow or white gold. Thanks to its carefully designed shape, the Dualclasp always sits centred on the wrist.

The double folding dualclasp.

The 1908 is a timepiece, yes. But it is also a milestone, a testament of a brand’s storied mastery and its perpetual quest for excellence. 

Antony Lindsay, CEO of Fabergé

On a warm afternoon in the middle of nowhere, Antony Lindsay, the newly-appointed CEO of Fabergé sits before us as the ice in a glass next to an unopened can of Coke, tinkles as it melts. As the CEO of a storied brand like Fabergé, Lindsay’s task is to spread the word (and work) of the Romanov’s favourite jewellery house. With Sincere Watch Limited as its official retailer in Singapore, Fabergé continues to make its presence known. And yes, Fabergé is synonymous with the gem-encrusted eggs but the house has other achievements like jewelled boxes; animals carved out of precious stones and other ornamental objects.

In 2007, the brand underwent a revival. Taking inspiration from its storied past, Fabergé created original pieces like the Vissionnaire watches, where a Chronograph model displays two time zones at once, and the Altruist line, which has a clean and simple-to-read dial, with a crown that’s reminiscent of winding up a traditional clock. The collection that secured Fabergé’s footing in the hard jewellery world is the Compliquée models, which won the 2015 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève award.

As water pool at the bottom of the glass, Lindsay talks to us. About his history, where Fabergé is at and the future.

ESQUIRE: Did Sean Gilbertson (Fabergé’s last CEO) leave you with any wisdom when you took over?

ANTONY LINDSAY: [laughs] There’s been many over the years. I’ve known Sean, coming up to almost 14 years, and we shared some moments, both good and challenging. Nothing springs to mind... except for this Winston Churchill quote, “If you ever find yourself going through hell, keep walking.”

ESQ: What’s your journey been like?

AL: I come from a family of jewellers and had an interest in gemmology at a young age. I’ve been neurolinguistically programmed to appreciate jewellery, timepieces and objets d’art just by hanging out at my dad’s atelier on the weekends. I’d look at the gemstones handled by the craftspeople. I have an appreciation for hard luxury and completed my apprenticeship as a bench jeweller. I’m proud of having played such an important role within Fabergé for about 14 years. I’ve worn different hats as well. Proud when I was appointed MD and was invited to join the board of Gemfields UK Limited. As well as becoming CEO this year.

I feel privileged and fortunate to be part of a team to write the next chapter of one of the most celebrated names in luxury. I see that as an honour. It’s the revival of the coloured gemstones on one hand and it’s also the revival of Fabergé on the other. It’s what keeps us very busy.

ESQ: What sets Fabergé apart from the rest of your competition?

AL: I’d say that Fabergé’s reputation for unrivalled craftsmanship and design is globally recognised. I’d say Fabergé’s diverse use of techniques like the guilloché enamel with the use of hard stone or visible setting. In keeping with tradition, we seek to work with the finest ateliers. Because we don’t have our own workshop, we seek out workmasters all around the world. That’s quite unique to us.

ESQ: Speaking of tradition, how do you maintain that heritage while courting the newer generation?

AL: That’s a good question. It’s important to us that we pay homage and recognise what was done in the past. We draw inspiration from Peter Carl Fabergé, whether that be through his philosophies, values or craftsmanship. To apply it in a modern and contemporary and relevant way; we like to consider ourselves as a forward-thinking brand.

ESQ: How did your partnership with Sincere come about?

AL: I’d say that we are actively looking to partner with the finest retailers in existence. We don’t profess to understand every market on the planet. So, we believe that by partnering with the best of the best, who understands how to represent a brand like Fabergé; and how to offer first-class customer service... that’s very important to us. Sincere Watch Group is the perfect fit for Fabergé and we’re delighted that they are representing us here in Singapore and soon in other parts of South East Asia.

Compliquée Peacock Emerald Watch

ESQ: What would you introduce to someone new to Fabergé?

AL: I would introduce the Compliquée Peacock watch, which is quintessentially Fabergé. We took inspiration from the Imperial Peacock Egg and, in keeping with the Fabergé tradition, we sought out the finest watch movement manufacturer and that led us to Jean-Marc Wiederrecht of Agenhor and now his two sons, Nicolas and Laurent, who run the business on a day-to-day basis. Throughout the discussions with them, we made the Peacock watch that has a special retrograde movement, that functions off four gears, and that allows us to add a feature for the peacock’s tail to unfurl.

ESQ: Peacocks, playing cards; are there other motifs that will utilise that movement in the future?

AL: There are some plans and they are confidential. [laughs]

ESQ: You talked about Fabergé as a book that you’re proud to be part of. What is the next chapter?

AL: To continue this revival and personally—and I know I speak on behalf of my co-workers—it’s about ensuring that the Fabergé story can still be told. What Fabergé symbolises is more than simply luxury and decadence. For us, it’s about creating prized possessions that can stand the test of time and be passed down through the generations. That’s important to us and runs through our DNA. You can scour through Christie’s and see that Fabergé is one of the highly sought-after hard luxury names in existence. 

Kenzo souvenir jackets get emblazoned with the dragon for the Lunar New Year.

And just like that, the Christmas decorations have gone down and we're on our way to celebrate a new Lunar Year. It's a rather special one too—the Year of the Dragon is arguably the most celebrated of the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac. It may not have topped the mythological race that determined the order of the Lunar Calendar (that honour goes to the Rat, for the uninitiated) but the Dragon's powerful stature and connotations confer it the most favoured Zodiac.

It's a given then that the Year of the Dragon capsule collections this year have been amped up in line with the Dragon's popularity as well as its sought-after traits of power, nobility, success, and luck.

We can't guarantee that your year will be for the better wearing even just one of these new threads. But at the very least, you're taking some ownership of it and that's something even the most skeptic of persons could get behind.

The dragon that ate

Kenzo's capsule collection features motifs that you're already familiar with from the brand. The Kenzo tiger remains a key insignia that's apparent in the collection's ready-to-wear range, with a dragon motif making its appearance. On Kenzo bombers, souvenir jackets, hoodies and more, the dragon takes a figure-eight formation, while a more stylised interpretation is fitted onto back pockets of denims and a slew of lightweight jerseys and tracksuits.

The Kenzo Lunar New Year capsule is now available in Kenzo boutiques.

A new dawn

Newly crowned Bottega Veneta brand ambassador Shu Qi stars in The First Sunrise with You, a campaign short by director Jess Jing Zou. The film depicts scenes of Shu Qi and a host of other individuals—friends, romantic partners, and families—venturing out and watching the sun rise in anticipation of a new year. Accompanying them are a number of pieces specially crafted to the Year of the Dragon. The Orbit sneakers are rendered in new colours (including a rather soothing orange), a dragon motif is interwoven as part if the House's Intrecciato technique on a tote, and the beloved Jodie is trimmed with a handle inspired by a dragon's tail.

Meet Tanilla

Dior Men's version of the Dragon is perhaps the most adorable of the lot. In collaboration with Japanese artist Otani Workshop, Tanilla the green monster is the central character that's featured in a myriad of ways throughout the capsule collection. The dragon-like creature is prominent on a number of ready-to-wear pieces, including on the Dior Oblique in Lunar New Year appropriate burgundy and pink hues. Splashes of red run rampant throughout too—both as a nod to one of Monsieur Dior's favourite colours as well as the festivities.

The Dior & Otani Workshop capsule collection is now available in Dior Men boutiques and on dior.com.

Go for gold

Emporio Armani taps on its global ambassador Jackson Yee to be the face of its Year of the Dragon collection. The colour palette of the collection is kept relatively simple and wearable with black and red. The Emporio Armani logo is then paired with an embroidered dragon motif—both done largely in gold—to pile on the symbols of prosperity and fortune. Opt for just one single piece from the collection and you're good to go.

The right kind of red

Like many others in this edit, Polo Ralph Lauren's latest Lunar New Year collection sees its very own interpretation of the dragon. The brand takes a more traditional slant with a multicoloured version placed front and centre on clasic Polo Ralph Lauren staples. But what the brand captured exceptionally well is the shade of red—a tasteful hue that's not too bright and not too muted. It's beautifully executed on a reworked Oxford shirt decorated with frog fastenings, and even a classic jumper.

The Polo Ralph Lauren Lunar New Year collection is now available in stores and online.

Time-honoured craft

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Trust Loewe to commission master craftsmen as part of its Lunar New Year capsule collection. Simply referred to as the Jade collection, master jade carvers Xiaojin Yin, Qijing Qiu, and Lei Cheng each created a series of five limited edition pendants mounted onto gold chains. In addition to the limited edition pieces, Loewe expands its Flamenco series with the Purse Mini bags in colours inspired by antique jade carvings, with each bag containing an attached ring of jade in its corresponding colour on the inside. Charms and key chains are also part of the mix—each combined with signature Loewe motifs.

The Loewe Jade collection is now available in boutiques and online.

A sophomore collaborative effort

MCM and BAPE® return for another capsule collection. This time, the BAPE® logo is entwined with a dragon and is featured on every piece in the collection, including a Visetos-decorated Shark hoodie. MCM's signature silhouettes the likes of its Backpack, Belt Bag, Crossbody, Boston and more, have been transformed even further with the inclusion of a transparent version of BAPE®'s camouflage pattern. This is definitely not a collection for anyone with minimalist leanings.

The MCM and BAPE® collaboration is now available in select MCM and BAPE® stores.

For good luck and prosperity

Burberry does things the Burberry way. Building on British wardrobe archetypes and Burberry signatures, its Lunar New Year collection refreshes classic checks and house motifs in vibrant hues of red. The seasonal rose motif is also seen in full bloom, perfectly matching new eyewear styles. And if you need a reference of how to pull off the collection's patterns, you'd only need to look to brand ambassador Chen Kun for inspiration.

The Burberry Lunar New Year collection is now available in boutiques and online.

Just the tip

The Moncler logo has been reimagined specifically for its latest Lunar New Year collection. The outline has been replaced with the head of a dragon. Three looks for men have been created for the collection, with quilting designed to resemble the scales of a dragon and body armour. So if you've already made plans for the last remnants of snow on the slopes or just a winter holiday over Lunar New Year, there's no better collection than this.

The Moncler Year of the Dragon collection is now available in select Moncler boutiques.

The mighty Dragonite

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The OG dragon of the Pokémon series, Dragonite, together with its pre-evolutions take centrestage in a three-way collaboration with Fendi, Hiroshi Fujiwara's Fragment, and Pokémon. The collaboration goes as simple as a tee and hoodie printed with the charismatic dragon Pokémon to leather marquetry of Dratini and Dragonite on Mini Baguette and Baguette bags respectively. Galvanised brass jewellery combines the FF logo with Pokémon signatures such as a Poké Ball (that opens up to reveal the FF logo) as well as Dratini and Dragonair.

The Fendi x FRGMT x Pokémon collection is now available in select Fendi boutiques and online.

Celine's first wireless headphones.

Considering that Hedi Slimane is constantly inspired by music and uses it as a way of crafting the narrative of each collection—his runway shows for Celine often involves commissioned music pieces—Celine-branded audio accessories ought to be a given. It has been almost six years since he's assumed the position of the luxury brand's creative, artistic and image director, and we're finally getting just that.

The first Celine wireless headphones made their debut on the brand's Summer 2024 womenswear runway. To the tune of a specially commissioned extended version of "Too Much Love" by LCD Soundsystem, the all-black headphones were seen around the necks of a number of models—styled as an accessory to complete a look more than anything. But thankfully, they're capable of more than making one look a tad cool.

Celine has partnered up with Master & Dynamic for its first foray into the audio space. If you're already familiar with Master & Dynamic, you'd know that the audio brand is universally known for its make, rich audio quality, and signature design. Celine's variation is an aesthetic update of the MH40 model identifiable by its lightweight anodised aluminium body. Both the headband and removable ear pads are crafted from supple lambskin, with the capabilities of the MH40—Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity, noise isolation, and up to 30 hours of battery life—ensuring that the audio experience is as luxe as it gets.

While its runway debut only showcased the all-black iteration, the Celine headphones come in three colourways: the aforementioned all-black, black and silver, and tan and silver. The black-and-silver iteration features "Celine" right on the exterior of each speaker; the all-black as well as the tan-and-silver colourways are decorated with the Celine Triomphe motif at the same spots. The partnership goes as far as adding more subtle details such as "Celine Paris" laser-engraved on the included charging cables, and "Designed and developed in Paris" marked on the right headphone.

The retail price? Well, it is a collaborative effort and branded with the signatures of a luxury fashion house so SGD1,350 isn't exactly out of left field. At the very least, it does more than say, a white shirt by Celine that also retails for around the same price.

The Celine wireless headphones will be available in boutiques and online soon.

Sea Blue—a new colour to add to your collection.

If you're already feeling the blues about being officially back to work after a weekend of some intense New Year-partying (the hangover doesn't get any easier, does it?), RIMOWA is turning those emotions into something more pleasant. That's right, a few days in to 2024 and we're already getting a new colour for the RIMOWA Essential series.

Like the many other colours prior, Sea Blue takes inspiration from the myriad of destinations that a RIMOWA luggage could potentially bring one to. While the rest may have been more specific in their points of reference, Sea Blue takes a more generic approach but one that just about anyone can appreciate. The regenerative influence of the sea—pretty appropriate given the new year—inspired the soft, pastel-hued Sea Blue that's still richly saturated yet calming at the same time. It's best captured in the series of shorts lensed by Francesco Nazardo. Set against the interiors and poolside of a 1950s home located in the outskirts of Barcelona, the Sea Blue series is beautifully highlighted as a soothing accessory.

If you're already familiar with RIMOWA's Essential series, its interior remains dependable as ever albeit slightly reworked. What used to be two separate compartments divided by the brand's adjustable Flex Divider, one side is now equipped with fully zipped lining designed for more secure storage. The main compartment (where the telescopic handles are housed) is separated by the Flex Divider that's also fitted with a zipped compartment enough for small loose items.

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Aside from the main trio of the Essential collection—Cabin, Check-In L, and Trunk Plus—Sea Blue is also available in a range of travel accompaniments. A toiletry pouch and packing cubes in three different sizes complete the offering meant to help make organisation a breeze.

Question now is: Where's the destination?

The RIMOWA Essential collection in Sea Blue will be available in boutiques and online from 4 January 2024.

Paul Mescal proving that the Gucci Horsebit loafers are still as stylish as there were 70 years ago.

When the Horsebit loafer was first conceived by Gucci—specifically by Aldo Gucci, the eldest son of founder Guccio Gucci—it was said to be a response to loafers popularised by preppy Americans. Gucci was to open its first New York City boutique in 1953. The Horsebit loafer was the perfect design to kickstart an American expansion. It was a familiar silhouette with the addition of an Italian flair—very Gucci.

The use of the snaffle bit within Gucci predates the Horsebit loafer. The House had already incorporated it since the 1950s when it began drawing inspiration from the equestrian world. The metallic double ring connected by a bar was taken from the bit on a horse’s bridle, and was used across different facets of the Gucci universe both as a decorative motif as well as a functional element.

A catalogue of Gucci Horsebit loafers from 1972.
Gucci Horsebit loafers circa 1990.
A thoroughly timeless design
The shoes are still made in-house.
The craft behind the Gucci Horsebit loafers remained unchanged.

One could even say that the creation of the Horsebit loafer was destined to happen. But its arrival at a time when dress codes were changing in favour of more liberal sensibilities, helped propel its popularity. Not only was the Horsebit loafer instantly recognisable, its make and comfort was a mark of Italian craftsmanship. The leather used is supple, and coupled with a construction that lacks an insole, makes the Horsebit loafer lightweight and flexible. One could easily run around in a pair and get it beaten down. Or like Tyler Durden in Fight Club, fight in one.

Gucci has seen numerous creative directors over the decades since, but the Horsebit loafers have been a mainstay. Various interpretations have been brought to the fore recently and will most likely continue to do so under the creative directorship of Sabato De Sarno. Yet, 70 years hasn’t changed the way the Horsebit loafers are crafted. To this day, they’re still produced in Italy, in house, by skilled cobblers. The soles of the Horsebit loafers are also still attached to the uppers with Blake stitching that affords the shoes’ their renowned lightweight and flexible attributes.

The GG monogram and green-red-green webbing may be synonymous with Gucci. But when it comes to a singular design, the Horsebit loafer is one that doesn’t need to be loud to be noticed.

We don’t need to tell you that your fragrance does say quite a bit about you. What you like, where your energy level is at, and even your personality might be discerned from the fragrances you gravitate towards. In the same manner, fragrances can be a tool of projection: you can use them quite effectively to communicate an initial visual impression—be it a sense of confidence, mystery or playfulness.

In the spirit of new beginnings for the new year, there’s absolutely no better time than the present to pause and reset your fragrance roster. While that may seem like we’re asking you to consider more mild-weight options, that’s absolutely not the case. This edit of fragrances—some perennial favourites with a few new releases thrown in—are meant to reintroduce a more refreshing scent profile that cuts right through headier bodies.

Think of this edit as the base on which to build on. The overall profile may be generally clean, but that really allows the opportunity to layer and mix to create ever more nuanced scents.

Hundred Silent Ways X extrait de parfum, NISHANE

Istanbul-based perfume brand NISHANE has been around for only a decade, yet its growing presence in more than 120 countries is a mark of its niche extrait fragrances. A consistent top-selling fragrance across its entire repertoire, Hundred Silent Ways is part of a collection inspired by 13th-century poet Rumi. The fragrance starts with a citrus top note, which then settles into a vanilla body. The new Hundred Silent Ways X is a reworked version created as a celebration of the brand’s 10th anniversary and leans even more heavily on the original’s gourmand body, adding on leather to amplify the sensuality of the fragrance. The top notes remain prevalent, making this a thoroughly balanced scent.

Iris de Gris eau de parfum, L’ARTISAN PARFUMEUR

L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Iris de Gris ranks top as the freshest fragrance in this edit. Part of the fragrance house’s Le Potager collection—a series dedicated to the use of vegetable notes in perfumery—Iris de Gris employs the use of a pea accord as the defining element of the fragrance. You smell it almost immediately, a crisp freshness that’s surprisingly reminiscent of a freshly picked and washed bag of peas. But of course, you won’t exactly be smelling like the vegetable. Iris and galbanum add refinement to the fragrance, with the mint (part of the concocted pea accord) lifting the fresh quality of Iris de Gris.

English Pear & Freesia eau de cologne, JO MALONE

As classic as they come, English Pear & Freesia is a quintessential Jo Malone fragrance that is the perfect balance of sweet and sensual. It’s not cloyingly sweet in any way, thanks to the main King William Pear note that gives a juicy expression to the fragrance. As with many of Jo Malone scents, the patchouli base provides for the fragrance’s longevity—this one sticks to your skin for awhile despite being a lightweight cologne formulation. While English Pear & Freesia is categorised as a women’s perfume (but what exactly is the point of gender labels in the world of fragrances?), its floral notes lean on the lighter side and, if anything, add a touch of freshness to the overall scent.

H24 eau de parfum, HERMÈS

Just like the previous fragrance on this list, H24 is created by Christine Nagel, the current in-house perfumer of Hermès. There’s a reason why Nagel is a celebrated perfumer and H24 is one of many examples of her refined take on perfumery. This eau de parfum formulation of H24 is headier than its eau de toilette predecessor but still retains a metallic note—thanks to the inclusion of sclarene—that’s signature to the fragrance. This metallic element cuts through to bring about a fragrance that perhaps isn’t for everyone. But the unique quality of it definitely sets the H24 apart from any other woody and musk-heavy fragrances out there.

Cologne Céleste eau de cologne, CELINE

The latest addition to Celine’s bath and body range—a range that was only introduced this year—is its first cologne. There’s an overall powdery radiance to Cologne Céleste brought about by notes of orris butter that ties it to the house’s refined haute parfumerie collection. Cologne Céleste, however, is designed to be an after-bath ritual meant to reinvigorate and soothe. The intended effect is brought about by the cologne’s more refreshing citrus and floral notes comprising neroli, orange blossom and sweet lemon essence. And as a way of bringing back old-school self-care gestures, Cologne Céleste can either be used as a splash (think Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone) or as a classic perfume with the removable metal pump included. Either way, the cologne is one you can easily incorporate as an everyday go-to.

A Floral Verse eau de parfum, GUCCI

Rather multi-faceted in essence, Gucci’s A Floral Verse is quite a journey, beginning with floral notes that then bring you to a green middle before settling down to a white musk base. A Floral Verse opens with Indian jasmine sambac that’s a splendid combination of floral, with semblances of warmth. The middle Sri Lankan black tea note provides a dry expression that counters the more floral elements of the Indian jasmine sambac, while at the same time infuses a dose of smokiness. The name may allude to a floral-heavy fragrance, but A Floral Verse is actually more green than floral, and layers easily with more robust fragrances.

Photography: Jayden Tan
Photography Assistant: Aisyah Hisham

Jacket, trousers, Maxi Dior Oblique Weekender 40 bag and B30 sneakers, DIOR MEN

In 1967, Marc Bohan conceptualised the Dior Oblique motif. The longtime creative director of the House (an almost 30-year tenure) first applied the motif on a bag from Dior’s haute couture collection in 1969. Throughout the years, the Dior Oblique has been applied on all manner of pieces by the House— from ready-to-wear to luggage to even the floors of its Dior Monsieur boutique in 1974.

Fast forward to today, the Dior Oblique remains one of Dior’s most quintessential elements. It’s become a mark of the House’s creativity with a range of treatments and interpretations imagined every now and then. The latest, is perhaps one that captures Monsieur Dior’s nonconformist spirit.

The Maxi Dior Oblique revokes any decree that branded logos and motifs are dead. As its name suggests, the Dior Oblique has been blown up like never before for Dior Men’s Spring 2024 collection. Each letter of the motif now takes significant real estate on a range of travel-ready bags and accessories. The collection’s Weekender 40 bag, for example, looks exceptionally roomier with the Maxi Dior Oblique canvas construction giving the illusion of a magnified proportion.

While the Maxi Dior Oblique may look audacious in its original colourway—there’s certainly no mistaking that it’s a Dior—a second all-black option provides a more subtle interpretation but one that’s impactful all the same. The Maxi Dior Oblique is rendered in black and set against a base that’s a couple of shades lighter. When employed on a pair of high-top B23 sneakers, the canvas adds depth and dimension. The motif may not be immediately obvious at first glance, but becomes apparent at multiple angles and in motion.

Jacket, trousers, and Maxi Dior Oblique B23 high-top sneakers, DIOR MEN

But the point of the Maxi Dior Oblique isn’t solely for the brash visual of Dior’s signature. It’s an extension of the Dior attitude—of going against the grain and challenging perceptions. After all, this is the same House that proposed a “new look” that further feminised women’s fashion post-World War II.

What’s the inverse of “quiet luxury”? This is it.

1. Black Bowmore DB5 1964, BOWMORE AND ASTON MARTIN

How does luxury taste? Perhaps, much like the Black Bowmore DB5 1964. Bowmore’s limited release in collaboration with Aston Martin is a rare single malt whisky that offers an intense marriage of ripe exotic fruits with a heady combination of coffee and tobacco smoke. And even if you intend on saving the spirit for special occasions, the exceptional vessel would look striking as part of any collection.

2. Santos-Dumont, 43.5mm steel case with yellow gold on alligator strap, CARTIER

Black, blue and white dials present classic appeal that won’t look out of place in any setting, it’s true. But let this grey-dial Santos-Dumont open you up to an underrated option. The yellow gold accent on the bezel goes handsomely with the grey dial, lifting the shine reflected by the sunray effect and conferring elegance on the whole watch together. There’s no question this is a stunner.

3. Gemini II True Wireless earbuds, DEVIALET

Imagine the power of a Devialet speaker but poured into a tiny, portable packaging—that’s the second generation of the the brand’s Gemini series. The new upgrade promises a deeper acoustic experience with a new Active Wind Reduction technology that serves to actively block out wind noise. Of course, that’s coupled with active noise cancellation too. And is there a better looking, sophisticated design out there than this? We doubt so.

4. B27 low-top sneakers, DIOR MEN

Not many sneakers by luxury fashion houses have managed to combine their respective house codes into a single design without looking forced or even tacky. Dior Men’s B27 successfully incorporates signature Dior elements—the CD Icon, Oblique motif, and a number of logos—all the while retaining the feel of a contemporary sneaker. This blue-and-white colourway is also a classic combination that makes for an easy staple to pair with just about any outfit.

5. Tie, HERMÈS

The tie isn’t dead; you’re just not wearing the right one. This cheeky design by Hermès nods to its equestrian heritage while also adding some levity to a typically formal accessory. Interpret it however you want—reneging against formal dress codes or the idea of a nine-to-five workday—but we all instantly know it is destined to become a beloved conversation starter.

6. Spinner BT turntable, JBL

Marrying modern technology with the timeless, unparallelled quality of vinyls, JBL’s Spinner BT turntable ensures that your favourite records sound as crisp as they’re made to be. The device’s Bluetooth capabilities uses aptX HD encoding to ensure a reduction in any audio distortion while the sound is transmitted to any wireless speakers or headphones. In other words, drowning down the noise after a long day is now made even more sonically splendid.

7. Lavande 31 eau de parfum, LE LABO

Forget what you think you know about lavender as a scent. Le Labo’s latest Lavande 31 eau de parfum challenges the typically sweet and powdery connotations of lavender by adding bergamot and neroli essential oils to a vertical distillation of lavender flower buds. This reveals lavender at its purest form and the result is a fragrance that’s dirty in nature with a heavy emphasis on musk and amber.

8. Coin cardholder, LOEWE X SUNA FUJITA

With digital wallets fast becoming mainstream, physical wallets are naturally downsizing. This leather cardholder by Loewe features a Suna Fujita illustrated motif that’s not only beautiful, but expertly applied into the design though a leather intarsia technique. The piece itself is convenient with four card slots and a zip compartment that has room enough for coins to buy more than two coffee takeaways.

9. N3 flip phone, OPPO

It’s really for the nostalgia. The flip phones of the noughties were a vibe; nothing felt quite as satisfying as flipping the phone shut after an infuriating call to make a point. Oppo’s N3 flip phone will afford you that same experience and more. The best thing about the N3 is that even when its folded like a clamshell, the vertical cover screen is functional with a host of features that you won’t necessarily have to flip open the phone for basic functions. And when it’s opened up, it’s a seamless 6.8-inch screen with brilliant colour and clarity.

10. Backpack, TOD’S

Functional, supple and incredibly lightweight, Tod’s latest iteration of a multi-compartment backpack is easily one of the best we’ve seen this year. Reminiscent of a camping backpack, the backpack is made from hardwearing fabric with the addition of panels of leather. The silver metal hardware complements the design beautifully, adding sophistication to a rugged silhouette. There are a number of colours for the design but this green variation gets our nod.

11. Candle, PRADA

Any fan of Prada will be glad to know that the luxury fashion brand has released a more extensive homeware collection in Singapore. An easy early entry into Prada’s lifestyle creations is a scented candle housed within a porcelain vessel. Not only is the scent—lavender, if you’re wondering—subtle and inviting, the vessel is also decorated with Prada’s fairy motif that was part of its Spring/Summer 2008 womenswear collection.

12. Distinct cabin suitcase, RIMOWA

After aluminium and polycarbonate, RIMOWA has revealed a leather-fronted line. But before the brand introduced its revolutionary aluminium series, leather was its material of choice. The new Distinct cabin suitcase is crafted from leather that’s wrapped around a solid structure shaped with the signature grooves of a RIMOWA. The corners are reinforced with aluminium in a tonal navy treatment for a seamless and sophisticated look.

Photography: Jayden Tan
Digital Imaging and Retouching: Nguyen Tien Phuc
Photography Assistant: Aisyah Hisham

Loïc Prigent hosts Louis Vuitton's first podcast series.

Loïc Prigent, the famous French fashion journalist and documentary maker, is a constant figure at just about every fashion show, capturing moments and people, and narrating every highlight in his unmistakable French-accented voice. He’s now lending his vocals to Louis Vuitton’s debut podcast series Louis Vuitton [Extended] where he brings listeners through various facets of the maison’s universe.

“Art and culture—these two words in their broadest sense are the real things at Louis Vuitton,” Prigent pronounces as an introduction to the podcast’s first episode. The entire premise of Louis Vuitton [Extended] is to serve as a new vehicle for telling the story of the maison—from its expansive repertoire of fashion to the many events held on an international scale. The key elements of the series are interviews with creative minds behind the maison, the likes of creative director of women’s collections Nicolas Ghesquière, master perfumer Jacques Cavallier Belletrud and artistic director of watches and jewellery Francesca Amfitheatrof, will appear in upcoming episodes. And with Louis Vuitton known for its many collaborative endeavours across every aspect of its business, you can expect appearances by a host of personalities from artists and designers to athletes and chefs.

Louis Vuitton [Extended] begins with Pharrell Williams, the maison’s newest men’s creative director. In the 26-minute episode, Pharrell and Prigent are joined by Bishop Ezekiel Williams—Pharrell’s uncle, who helms the Voices on Fire choir that provided a soaring end to the Spring/Summer 2024 menswear runway show this past June—as they talked about the conceptualisation of the show, creativity and family. The episode is interspersed with moments that Prigent had captured of the show, adding context for listeners who haven’t yet watched it. We are struck by how atmospheric and incredibly intimate it is at the same time.

The first episode features men's creative director Pharrell Williams.

That Louis Vuitton is venturing into podcast is anything but out of left field. The storied maison takes storytelling seriously. If anyone needs convincing, just take a gander into its incredibly detailed collection notes as well as the many published tomes that cover both in-house stories and travel itineraries.

There is no telling how long the podcast series will go on. But for now, Louis Vuitton [Extended] is scheduled to drop new episodes on a bimonthly basis with each spanning between 20 and 40 minutes.

And quite honestly, who better to host a series on one of the most famous French brands than a characteristically French man?

Louis Vuitton [Extended] is available on all audio streaming platforms.

L'art & La Matière Tobacco Honey eau de parfum, GUERLAIN

Tobacco and honey go on a head-on collision in Guerlain’s latest expression of its L’Art & La Matière collection. The headiness of raw tobacco (think a woody, almost intoxicating ruggedness) is smoothed over with Calabrian honey (a beloved honey extract of the house), to form a sensual tension of opposites. At the heart of both ingredients is a common warmth that grounds Tobacco Honey. It is ambery in profile, but the concocted tobacco accord—a combination of various raw materials to replicate that distinct tobacco note—is enveloped in vanilla, tonka bean and sesame for a balanced sweetness.

There is no doubt that Tobacco Honey is rich and decadent, reflected by its liquid gold-like colouring of its resulting formulation. And because this is part of Guerlain’s L’Art & La Matière collection, the fragrance’s vessel is just as decadent. Artist Anne Féat Gaiss, whose work involves sculpting paper, created a plate for Tobacco Honey’s cap involving sculpted paper that’s then glided with copper leaf as a beautiful reflection of the fragrance.

Myrrhe Mystère eau de parfum, TOM FORD BEAUTY

One of the oldest known perfume ingredients, myrrh is often considered to have a complex fragrance profile that is difficult to describe. It is earthy in nature, lending a woody and warm aroma that can be pungent and bitter at the same time. In perfumery, it is often used to add depth, based on its complexity alone. In Myrrhe Mystère, Tom Ford Beauty plays on its mysterious profile as its central hero.

Myrrhe Mystère enlists the power and mystique of two myrrh-based elements—myrrh essence and a trademarked myrrh resinoid orpur formulation—that are then combined with its Ultra Vanille accord infused in a number of existing Tom Ford fragrances. The resultant fragrance is one that envelopes with a rich aura. It’s an undoubtedly sophisticated scent meant to act as a provocative and vibrational expression of myrrh. But with the balanced blend of the earthiness of myrrh, the sweetness of vanilla and the woodiness of sandalwood, Myrrhe Mystère evokes a calm serenity.

Libre L'Absolu Platine eau de parfum, YVES SAINT LAURENT BEAUTY

Yves Saint Laurent Beauty’s Libre series is proving to be a favoured androgynous fragrance. The House expands the tension between masculine and feminine nuances with Libre L’Absolu Platine. Concocted by master perfumers Anne Flip and Carlos Benaïm—the duo behind the original Libre eau de parfum—a new accord that they’re calling “white lavender” gives Libre L’Absolu Platine its piercing scent.

The Libre series is already beloved for its Diva Lavender Heart (crafted specifically for Yves Saint Laurent) that amps up the floral expression of the lavender essence extracted from Diva lavender grown in Provence. The white lavender accord elevates the natural characteristics of lavender with its icy sheen provided by a vegetal aldehyde, polygonum. The result is an almost metallic note that cuts through, bringing about a renewed freshness that’s balanced out with orange blossom—another Libre ingredient. Like the best of tailoring, Libre L’Absolu Platine is sharp while altogether cool and powdery for a fragrance that’s undeniably sexy.

Myriad extrait de parfum, LOUIS VUITTON

The latest in Louis Vuitton’s Les Extraits collection by master perfumer Jacques Cavallier Belletrud is Myriad. Like its five other single-named fragrances in the collection, Myriad is what Louis Vuitton considers its ultimate expression of perfume that breaks free from convention.

Oud is the olfactory ingredient on which Myriad is based. Belletrud looked to the essence of Assam oud selected from a supplier in Bangladesh that is now exclusive to the maison. The strong woody and spicy depth of oud is beautifully balanced with floral notes developed through a combination of different roses. Bulgarian rose and Grasse-sourced May rose are mixed to produce a delectable rose combo that is fresh and rounded. To amplify the leathery nuances of oud, saffron is added to the mix, while cocoa, ambrette, white musk and a note of moss work together to lift the fragrance for a velvety finish. There is intensity and lightness—an unlikely contrast that speaks volumes of the complexity of Myriad. It is topped with a Frank Gehry-designed cap to further accentuate the exceptional level of quality.

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